Christine Mailhiot

Communications Assistant


Whether you’re looking for things to do with your kids during the break, or just looking for a little inspiration to be active outdoors, this list is for you!

With 35 suggestions for hiking, snowshoeing, skating, skiing and many other activities to enjoy this winter in your #WinterCapital, you’re sure to find something that’s right for you! Which of the 35 activities will you try first?


Follow the public health directives in effect in your province, and read about our COVID-19 measures. Please be cautious and considerate at all times. Enjoy your outing!

  1. Outdo yourself in the #WinterCapital challenge. You can participate in the challenge on any trail or ice rink near you.
  2. Discover the groomed multi-use winter trail network.
  3. Explore Shirleys Bay in the Greenbelt, on cross-country skis.
  4. Visit the Canadian History Museum in person, or virtually in the comfort of your own home.
  5. Go for a 5.5-km winter hike at Green’s Creek.
  6. Take part in one of the virtual workshops presented by the Friends of Gatineau Park (registration required).
  7. Play detective, and identify animal tracks in the snow. (Read this blog before you begin!)
  8. Try snow biking in Gatineau Park.
  9. Take a stroll along Confederation Boulevard, and discover the monuments in the Capital.
  10. Use the City of Ottawa’s interactive map to find an outdoor municipal skating rink near you.
  11. Discover the ruins at the Mackenzie King Estate (bonus: leashed dogs are welcome).
  12. Take a walk with your family on the Queen Elizabeth Driveway (closed to motor vehicles, and open for active use on weekends, from 9 am to 5 pm).
  13. Become a budding speleologist, with a visit to the cave at Arbraska Laflèche.
  14. Make your own maple taffy at home.
  15. Thank a member of the Gatineau Park maintenance team for their excellent work.
  16. Take part in the next virtual NCC Urbanism Lab event.
  17. Try “A Prime Minister’s Backyard” cross-country ski route in Gatineau Park.
  18. Take pictures of the National Capital Region under the snow.
  19. Go in search of public art works in the Capital (here’s one to start with: The Gather-Ring).
  20. Tackle the Wolf Trail loop on snowshoes — a great physical challenge!
  21. Make a snow angel or build a snow person in one of the Capital’s urban parks.
  22. Explore the winter trails on foot, skis or snowshoes at the Centre de plein air du Lac-Leamy (website in French only).
  23. Enjoy the beauty of frozen waterfalls at Rideau Falls Park or Hog’s Back Park.
  24. Toboggan down a snowy slope.
  25. Visit one of the 10 best skating rinks in the Outaouais region.
  26. Contribute to scientific research by looking for plant and animal species in your neighbourhood — in collaboration with the Canadian Wildlife Federation’s Observation Nation program.
  27. Get out for a cross-country ski on the Sir John A. Macdonald (SJAM) Winter Trail — and while you’re at it, say hi to Groomer Dave!
  28. Hit the slopes, and enjoy downhill skiing or snowboarding at Camp Fortune.
  29. Take a self-guided tour, and learn more about the Greenbelt’s Stony Swamp, Pine Grove and Mer Bleue Bog.
  30. Discover the remarkable trees of the National Capital Region, using our interactive map to plan your route — and discover them at your own pace.
  31. Watch a virtual performance through the National Arts Centre and #CanadaPerforms.
  32. Go for a walk in a winter wonderland.
  33. Give birding a try, and see if you can identify at least one bird species in the region (please be respectful and unobtrusive, and observe birds from a distance).
  34. Spend Friday evenings snowshoeing under the stars.
  35. Try a new activity in Gatineau Park, through the Relais plein air.